As a professor who specializes in community colleges, Erin Doran, CTN Director of Research and Evaluation, was quoted in a November 30th article for The Boston Globe titled “Community colleges see double-digit declines in enrollment as students struggle to return to their pre-pandemic studies Some campuses are missing a quarter or more of their students compared to before the pandemic.”
The article stated that “The situation at community colleges today is the inverse of what took place after the 2008 economic collapse, when enrollments swelled as people returned to school. The public health aspect of the current crisis makes this situation unique, experts said, but there are also other differences.
One difference that Doran pointed out was that “community colleges do not enjoy the same level of federal political support that they had back then.”
“The campuses around the country that have had the best luck enticing students to return to school, or stay enrolled, are those that have found ways to allow students to attend for free,” she added. “Going even further, the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio secured city and state money that allowed them to pay students $450 a week to learn a new skill during the pandemic. You see individual colleges that are doing this but not at the same sort of coordinated level,” Doran said.